Author of Book: Viktor E. Frankl
Date Read: October 16, 2023

Book Report

Why I read this book:

I purchased this book because Michael Santos read some of Frankl’s books while he was in prison. He
seemed to get a deeper understanding of phycology and the human mindset, particularly from a man
who encountered a similar circumstance of dehumanizing and debilitating imprisonment. I thought
that this book, The Will to Meaning – Foundations and applications of Logotherapy, would be
something of interest to determine if my life indeed had or has any meaning. I’ve been struggling
with trying to understand whether I followed the right path or was walking aimlessly through life
without purpose. Most of my life I’ve been wondering in the wilderness looking for a purpose,
moving back and forth across America trying to find my place in life. I was hoping that this book could
shed some light on the decisions that I made Capital and why I made them.

What I learned from reading this book:
The first thing I learned from this book was that I needed a dictionary to read the first few pages of
this book. The book was probably written for the psychotherapist and not a layman such as myself. I
plotted on through the difficulty in understanding all the psychiatry terms and associates mentioned
as reference, and eventually found myself comprehending some of the meaning of Logotherapy. For
instance, Logotherapy’s concept of man is based on three pillars, the freedom of will, the will to
meaning, and the meaning of life. Humor and heroism refer us to the uniquely human capacity of self-
detachment. What matters is not the features of our character or the drives and instincts per se, but
rather the stand we take toward them. The capacity to take such a stand is what makes us human
beings. Man transcends himself either toward another (or other) human being(s) or toward meaning.
A man that lives with intentionality or purpose gives meaning to life. Individuals want to create value,
and as human beings, we have a primary or native orientation in the direction of creating and of
values. Such human phenomena, as the creativity of man, is oriented toward values and meaning.
Success and happiness must happen and the less one cares for them, the more they can succeed and
find happiness. The author refers this statement to the book of Solomon where God offers him a wish.
Solomon, after pondering his answer, wishes for Wisdom, thereupon God, not only gave him wisdom,
but because he did not choose long life, wealth, health, and/or power, God said, I will give those
things to you as well. Thus Solomon received the very gifts which he had not intended. It is one of
immediate data of life experience that man is pushed by drives but pulled by meaning, and this
implies that it is always up to him to decide whether or not he wishes to fulfill the latter. Thus
meaning fulfillment always implies decision-making. Also, Ideals are the very stuff of survival!
I now understand that this concept carried me through to present day where this idea that I stood for,
Freedom and Truth, did not deter me from standing strong. My passion for standing for what I
believed in, and knew what our forefathers fought for, were at stake and I was prepared to do
whatever it took to protect our freedoms and our country against evil and socialistic takeover.

To put it into Augustinian terms, man’s heart is restless unless he has found, and fulfilled, meaning
and purpose in life, however; there is no such thing as universal meaning of life but only the unique
meanings of the individual situations. Man is pushed by drives; but he is pulled by values. I cannot
say that my actions were right or wrong, I must try hard to find out the true meaning of the question
which I am asked by life and must be interpreted in terms of responsibleness. Man is responsible for
giving the right answer to a question for finding true meaning of a situation. A meaning is something
to be found rather than to be given, discovered rather than invented. In fact, man is guided in his
search for meaning by conscience. Conscience could be defined as the intuitive capacity of man to
find out the meaning of a situation. Since meaning is something unique, it does not fall under a
general law, and an intuitive capacity such as conscience is the only means to seize hold of meaning
gestalts. According to 2 Frankl, the noblest appreciation of meaning is reserved to those people who,
deprived of the opportunity to find meaning in a deed, in a work, or in love, by the very attitude
which they choose to this predicament, rise above it and grow beyond themselves. What matters is
the stand they take; a stand which allows for transmuting their predicament into achievement,
triumph, and heroism. Thousands of people found themselves in a predicament, a love of their
country, of which they were threatened depravation to find meaning from the transmutation of our
beliefs and cherished values of God and country. The only thing that mattered was that each of those
who attended the rally took a stance to triumph over this hostile takeover of values with heroism
which resulted in action. However; with action and decision comes pain and inescapable suffering.
Logotherapy teaches that pain must be avoided as long as it is possible. But as soon as a painful fate
cannot be changed, it not only must be accepted, but may be transmuted into something
meaningful, into an achievement. Thousands of people will experience the painfulness of this
destructive administrations lawless aggression on this society which may have a regressive tendency
to self-destructive submissiveness. I recently have discovered that some people simply do not want
to accept responsibility for their actions because they are still trying to find meaning to everything
that has happened over the past three years. They simply cannot cope with trying to find an
optimistic approach to life after the 2020 election. 3 Max Scheler pointed out, man has a right to be
considered guilty and to be punished. Once we deal with man as the victim of circumstances and
their influences, we not only cease to treat him as a human being but also lame his will to change
(i.e. prison terms). What we have done cannot be undone. This adds to man’s responsibleness. A
human being, by the very attitude he chooses, is capable of finding and fulfilling meaning in even a
hopeless situation. Attitudinal values are the highest possible values.
Another profound statement I found in this book was the etiology of the existential vacuum. Frankl
states that in contrast to an animal, no drives and instincts tell man what he must do. No
conventions, traditions, and values tell him what he should do; and often he does not even know
what he basically wishes to do. Instead he wishes to do what other people do, or he does what other
people wish him to do.
Being in that crowd that day, and the events leading up to January 6 th has convinced me that this
theory is absolutely correct. I did not know what I wished to do (I knew that I had to do something,
but didn’t know what to do once I got there), but instead did what other people did (I followed what
other people were doing by heading into the tunnel) and what society (at the time) wished me to do
(i.e. social media).

My values told me what I should do, but didn’t know how to achieve the outcome or goal. A goal
wasn’t even defined, so failure was certain.
I should have known better than to follow the crowd. Normally I am very level headed and lead
rather than follow. It was interesting that when I saw some of the footage of me at the capital that
day, I don’t remember it being the way that the video showed. For Instance, I don’t remember
being at the front of the entrance at all. My recollection of that event was that I was at the bottom
of the steps watching someone else going into the tunnel way before I decided to go in. To this
day, I believe that the FBI, who was in the crowd that day, used microwave mind control on the
crowd to make them do things that they don’t normally do. I looked into this technology and it is,
and has been for several years, a technology that our CIA and government has used in other parts
of the world to make solders do things against their will. The CAI has been working on mind control
since the 70’s with LSD and other hallucinogenic methods trying to control minds of their enemies
through experimentation. Microwave technology was first introduced around 2010. To date, this
technology is very top secret to national security. I cannot prove this conspiracy theory, but sooner
or later the truth of that fateful day will be revealed. I believe that my actions were not of my
complete will based on some of the footage I’ve seen. I simply don’t remember the events that I
participated in but apparently video’s don’t lie and I must take responsibility for my actions.
In Viktor Frankl’s book, chapter on Logotherapeutic Techniques, pg. 108, talks about how humor
allows a man to create perspective in able to put distance between himself and whatever may
confront him. Additionally he states that humor allows a person to detach from him/herself to
attain the fullest possible control over him/herself. I used to have a carefree attitude filled with
humor, but ever since I was arrested, I’ve been very stoic and out-of-sorts. This situation has really
put me into a funk that I cannot get out of my mind. I have a feeling of helplessness that sits in the
back of my mind, chaining my emotions and feelings, confining me, not allowing me to be the
person whom I used to be. The closer the date of surrender, the worse it gets. I try and concentrate
on God and his kingdom. Jesus gives me peace that settles me down at night and gives me rest.
Humor does not come easy to me anymore, but I will not let this situation define me. I will
continue to be strong for my wife and family and look to the other side of this storm. I will continue
to trust in Jesus and he will be with me through all of this. There is a purpose that I’m serving this
sentence, I just don’t see it yet, but God knows what he’s doing in my life. It can’t be all for not…
In the chapter Medical Ministry, Frankl states that a somatic cause of trouble cannot be removed.
What matters is the stand a patient (person) takes toward his predicament, the attitude he
chooses toward his suffering. I have decided that this is the approach I will take throughout this
ordeal. I will not fail God’s will for my life. He put me in this situation, all I need to do is listen and
obey his commands. As Frankl states in the same chapter, pg. 137, The misery of a single man is
turned into a sacrifice for the sake of mankind! Faith is proceeded by trust in an ultimate being,
GOD. My life’s meaning is helping others in their lives, giving meaning to both my life and the
persons whom I help. I will continue my ministry of obedience to God in faith, helping others come
to Christ, thus providing a meaningful existence through trust, faith, humility, love, and honesty.

Why I will be successful after reading this book:

Although I have accepted my fate, my attitude will put me in a favorable situation in everything I do. I
will continue to do my God directed mission and always provide a helping hand to those who are in
need or lost. This book has shown me how to will a meaning to my situation with purpose and poise. I
will work hard to overcome adversity and be a better person after this ordeal. I will continue to read
books that enhance my knowledge base and find meaning to my life in this world. I will continue to
serve my God and as Paul put it in Colossians 4:5-6 5 Live Wisely among those who are not believers,
and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you
will have the right response for everyone.